Spider-Man Biography

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See Marvel Comics *Spider-Man * Spider-Man Store *Spider-Man Gallery

This article is about the history of Marvel Comics' character Spider-Man. This article uses the comics as a canonical source.

Contents

Character biography

Early years

Peter Benjamin Parker is the son of Richard and Mary Parker, who worked as SHIELD agents, and were killed on a mission involving an impersonator of the Red Skull.-Untold Tales of Spider-Man #-1 ("minus one"; July 1997), retconning a story in The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #5 (Nov. 1968)- The infant Peter Parker is left in the care of his Uncle Ben and Aunt May Parker, who live in the Forest Hills neighborhood of Queens, New York. The aging couple love Peter, but he grows to be unpopular among his peers. Between an uncle who is too old to join him in physical activities and an aunt over-protective of the orphaned child, Peter gravitates to more non-physical hobbies such as photography and home chemistry, encouraged in these endeavors by his guardians. He grows to be a lonely, timid but exceptionally bright teenager who shows more interest in his studies (especially science, for which he has an uncanny affinity that is nothing short of genius) than in social life. He is often the target of jokes by more popular students like Flash Thompson, the high school's star athlete.

Peter blames himself for Uncle Ben's death. Art by Steve Ditko.
Peter blames himself for Uncle Ben's death. Art by Steve Ditko.

Peter Parker attends a science exhibition where he is bitten by a radioactive spider. Peter later discovers the spider bite has given him an array of spider-like powers, including wall-crawling, superhuman strength, speed and agility, and an extrasensory "spider-sense".

Peter initially sets out to find fame and fortune, winning a match in a makeshift disguise against professional wrestler Crusher Hogan. He attempts to interest a television network in the idea of featuring him as a costumed hero (with the advantage that he can actually do the things his character can), and creates the Spider-Man name, costume, and web-shooters. After quickly becoming a minor celebrity, Peter appears on a television special, but afterward allows a thief to escape the TV station, asserting that it isn't his problem. He comes to regret his inaction when he finds out that the same burglar subsequently killed his Uncle Ben.

Realizing that he could have prevented his uncle's death, the guilt-ridden Peter commits to a life of crime fighting and lifesaving, driven by his uncle's words, "With great power there must also come great responsibility".-The 12-page lead story of Amazing Fantasy #15 (Aug. 1962) by writer-editor Stan Lee and artist and character designer Steve Ditko gives Spider-Man's origin story.- (The phrase is often shortened to: "With great power comes great responsibility".) This disarming mix of selfless obligation and self-recrimination brought about by his uncle's death arguably makes up Spider-Man's moral core.

In the earliest Spider-Man stories, Peter Parker attends Midtown High School. After his uncle's death, he and his aunt become desperate for money, so he gets a job as a photographer at the Daily Bugle selling photos to J Jonah Jameson. Peter dates co-worker Betty Brant and clashes with his high school rival Flash Thompson (whose girlfriend, Liz Allen, he informally tutors. Liz also later develops a crush on the unpopular 'Petey' which further serves to infuriate Flash). He encounters many of his most famous enemies for the first time during this period.

With the numerous enemies Spider-Man made he also made a great number of allies, a recurring theme in the comics. For all of Spider-Man's solo adventures, he amassed a great deal of allies as well including the likes of the X-Men, Daredevil, and the Fantastic Four (of which he was a part of a replacement team for when the original team went missing. The other members were the Grey Hulk, Wolverine, and Ghost Rider).

College life

Peter graduates from high school and enrolls at Empire State University, where he meets Harry Osborn and Gwen Stacy. His aunt introduces him to Mary Jane Watson, whom he dates for a short time, but Peter soon falls in love with Gwen. Meanwhile, Harry becomes Peter's roommate and best friend, but starts using illegal drugs. Peter's relationship with Flash also changes, and they slowly become close friends over time.

Harry's father, Norman Osborn, is revealed to be the Green Goblin and discovers Spider-Man's secret identity. After Gwen's father, Police Captain George Stacy is killed in a battle between Spider-Man and Doctor Octopus, Gwen's relationship with Peter is put on hold when she travels to England. Harry suffers a drug overdose shortly after she returns.

The Six Arms Saga

Spider-Man: The Six Arms Saga In The Amazing Spider-Man #100-102, Spidey creates a chemical cocktail which is intended to eliminate his spider powers. However the potion increased his spider powers, rather than eliminating them, which gives him six arms. Dr. Curt Connors uses the blood of new villain Morbius to create an antidote that turns Spider-Man back to "normal".

Death of Gwen Stacy

The Amazing Spider-Man #122 (June 1973). Art by John Romita Sr
The Amazing Spider-Man #122 (June 1973). Art by John Romita Sr

The Night Gwen Stacy Died In The Amazing Spider-Man #121-122 (June-July 1973), while Harry is ill, the Green Goblin throws Gwen Stacy from a tower of the Brooklyn Bridge; either from shock or physical trauma during Spider-Man's rescue attempt, she dies before hitting the water. The Goblin appears to be killed himself in the ensuing battle with Spider-Man. Grieving Gwen's death, Parker withdraws from his social circle, only to find support from Mary Jane, who eventually starts dating him. Harry later discovers the truth about his father and becomes the second Green Goblin. Gwen's death has another unforeseen consequence: one of her professors, Miles Warren, clones Gwen and Peter from tissue samples that he'd taken in class some months back. Both clones disappear, but Peter's clone - presumed dead in an explosion - returns years later as Ben Reilly. Later still, Mary Jane and Peter break up, as she is not ready for a committed relationship.

The Death of Jean DeWolff

The Death of Jean DeWolff In Spectacular Spider-Man #107 - #110, Peter Parker (Spider-Man) hunts down the person who murdered Jean DeWolff, one of his closest friends in the police department. When the murderer kills another person close to Daredevil, the two superheroes pair up to find the murderer. They later find out that the murderer was Dewolff's ex-lover Stan Carter, aka Sin-Eater. The Death of Jean DeWolff featured Spider-Man with his black symbiote costume.

Alien costume and Venom

See also: Symbiote; Venom
Spider-Man gets a new black costume in Secret Wars #8. Art by Mike Zeck.
Spider-Man gets a new black costume in Secret Wars #8. Art by Mike Zeck.

The alien costume, also known as the Black Suit, first made its appearance in sketches found in a Marvel magazine titled Marvel Age #12. These early sketches had Spider-Man in a black costume with a red spider-symbol instead of the version with the white symbol that would later be used. The first comic book appearances of the suit occurred in May 1984 in Marvel Team-Up #141, Amazing Spider-Man #252, and Spectacular Spider-Man #90.

In these issues there was an abrupt time shift from the issues a month earlier. Spider-Man was now on Earth shortly after the events of the Secret Wars limited series had taken place even though the twelve issue Secret Wars series had just started that month. It would be months before the change to the new costume would be explained. In the Secret Wars limited series, Spider-Man is taken to an alien planet, where he participates in a battle between Earth's greatest heroes and villains. When his suit is destroyed in the fight, Peter sets out to make himself a new one after seeing the Hulk and Thor leave a room with their clothing repaired, and comes across a machine which conjures him a black suit that responds to his thoughts, greatly enhances his powers, provides him with its own supply of web-fluid, and can change its appearance at his command.

A few weeks after his return to Earth, however, Peter discovers that the costume is actually an alien symbiote bent on permanently bonding with its host. Peter eventually rejects and defeats the symbiote, going on to marry a now-returned Mary Jane Watson after breaking up with long-time girlfriend the Black Cat. However, the symbiote eventually returns, merging with reporter Eddie Brock to become the villain known as Venom. Brock is imprisoned and removed from his symbiote but then escapes from prison when the symbiote returns. His cell-mate, Cletus Kasady (a serial killer), merges with an infant symbiote that Venom left behind, thus becoming another villain, Carnage.

Marriage to Mary Jane Watson

The Wedding! (Spider-Man)

Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #21. Art by John Romita Sr
Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #21. Art by John Romita Sr

In spite of Peter and Mary Jane's mutual worry that they were marrying too early, Peter's concern for MJ's safety, and Mary Jane's unwillingness to give up her "party girl" lifestyle, they married in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) Annual #21 (1987). She attached Peter's surname to her own, making her Mary Jane Watson-Parker. Spider-Man wore his black costume around this time, but after Mary Jane was frightened by a stalking Venom, she convinced him to change back to his old costume in Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) #300 (May 1988).

Mary Jane continued to model after her marriage, but eventually moved into acting.

Cosmic Spider-Man

While pursuing his graduate studies in biochemistry at Empire State University, Peter Parker was bathed in unknown energies when an experimental generator exploded. The explosion also caused nearby power lines to overload dangerously. Changing into Spider-Man, Peter spotted a live wire falling toward a young couple. He instinctively caught the wire and was surprised when he wasn't harmed by the massive surge of electricity, soon realizing that his powers and senses had been significantly enhanced. Spider-Man's new powers had actually come from the Uni-Power, which comes from a mysterious extra-dimensional aspect of the Microverse known as the Enigma Force, and associated with the entity known as Captain Universe. The powers it bestowed upon Spider-Man seemed to be enhanced spider-like powers, super senses, vast power blasts, being able to form shapes from his web and manipulate them, and absolute invulnerability. These abilities allowed him to defeat a host of foes including Magneto, Graviton, the Grey Hulk, Goliath and a mystically infused super Sentinel called The Tri-Sentinel during the Acts of Vengeance crossover.


Maximum Carnage

Maximum Carnage Thanks to a temporary alliance between Spider-Man and Venom, Carnage was swiftly defeated and apparently destroyed. Kasady was subsequently jailed at Ravencroft Asylum for psychiatric evaluation. However, the alien had mutated his blood, and he could generate a copy of the symbiote (this was later retconned so that the alien had survived, and bonded to his blood). Kasady escaped, freeing other superhuman inmates and assembling a 'family' of killers around him. They set their sights on New York. During the murderous onslaught that followed, Carnage recruited Shriek, Doppelganger, Demogoblin, and Carrion to do his bidding as a kind of 'family', terrorizing New York City with their twisted "family values." Spider-Man and Venom were forced to join together once again to stop Carnage and his followers. They required the assistance of such disparate heroes as Captain America, Black Cat, Nightwatch, Cloak and Dagger, Iron Fist, Deathlok, Morbius and Firestar, although there was a great deal of conflict within this group, both sides polarised between Venom's desire to stop Carnage for good and Spider-Man's refusal to allow any more life to be lost. However, both infighting between the villains and a successful rout from the heroes contributed to Carnage's defeat. Venom pushed Carnage into an electrical generator and fled, leaving Carnage to be imprisoned.

Clone Saga

Clone Saga

Spider-Man battles his clone counterpart the Scarlet Spider. Art by Mark Bagley.
Spider-Man battles his clone counterpart the Scarlet Spider. Art by Mark Bagley.

A controversial 1990s storyline involves the Scarlet Spider, a clone of Peter Parker created in 1970s comics by insane scientist Miles "The Jackal" Warren. The clone had lived incognito as "Ben Reilly", but returns to New York City upon hearing of Aunt May's health taking a critical turn. Becoming the Scarlet Spider, he becomes allies with Parker. To the surprise of both, new tests indicate that "Reilly" is in fact the original and "Parker" the clone. Mary Jane becomes pregnant with "Parker"'s baby, and "Parker" retires as Spider-Man and passes the Spider-Man identity to "Reilly", who remains Spider-Man for several months until a resurrected Green Goblin admits to having switched the tests in an attempt to destroy Peter's life by making him believe himself to be the fake. After "Reilly" is impaled on the Goblin's Glider while saving "Parker", his body crumbles into dust, proving definitively that "Reilly" is the clone. While Parker battles Osborn, the pregnant Mary Jane is poisoned by one of Osborn's agents, causing premature labor and what seems to be a stillbirth.

Identity Crisis

Spider-Man: Identity Crisis Some time after these events, Spider-Man is framed by Norman Osborn and the Trapster for the murder of a small-time crook after he is provoked into attacking Osborn while under surveillance, leaving Spider-Man with a five-million-dollar reward posted for his capture. Instead of his normal costumed identity, Peter Parker adopts four other costumes with different crimefighting personas in order to stay under the radar — the Hornet and Prodigy posing as heroes, Dusk and Ricochet pretending to be criminals in order to infiltrate with the criminal underworld and gather information. Using his Dusk identity, he provides evidence that Spider-Man hadn't killed the criminal, while he uses the Prodigy identity to produce faked evidence to suggest that a Spider-Man impersonator attacked Osborn. With the bounty removed, Peter returned to his life as Spider-Man.

It is here where continuity deviates between MC2 and Earth 616

21st-century Spider-Man

Artwork for the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2, #43, by John Romita Jr
Artwork for the cover of The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 2, #43, by John Romita Jr

During the late 1990s, in Peter Parker: Spider-Man #97, Peter learns that Aunt May was kidnapped by Osborn and that her death was a hoax. Peter rescues May, then, after thwarting Osborn's attempts to activate gene bombs that will reduce all life on Earth back to the level of primordial soup, temporarily retires as Spider-Man. However, he eventually becomes Spider-Man again to fight a new foe called Shadrac with the aid of Iceman, although he continues in the costume afterwards while simultaneously keeping it secret from Mary Jane. Shortly afterward, she was apparently murdered by a stalker in a plane accident.

In early 2001, Babylon 5 creator J Michael Straczynski began writing The Amazing Spider-Man, illustrated by John Romita Jr. Straczynski and writer Paul Jenkins reunite Peter and Mary Jane- the stalker being revealed to be a mutant who sought to 'become' Peter only to be convinced that he could never achieve that goal due to him having killed-, but the couple temporarily separated. Peter subsequently became a teacher at his old high school, wanting to give some of the kids there the kind of teacher he never had when he was there.

The enigmatic, wealthy CEO Ezekiel, who possesses powers similar to Peter's, suggests that the accident giving Peter his abilities might not have been a fluke, and that Peter might have a connection to a totemic spider spirit. The vampire-like Morlun, who feeds on the powers possessed by those connected to animal totems, comes to New York and severely beats Spider-Man. However, Peter injects himself with a radioactive material, making himself "impure" and weakening the villain, who is then killed by his lackey. After this, May discovers Peter is Spider-Man, leading to a new openness in their relationship; Peter is happy to be honest with his aunt at last, while May struggles to accept Peter's life as Spider-Man and give him her support. Soon, following a battle with the mystical spider wasp being, Shathra, Peter and Mary Jane reconcile during a fight at an airport where Peter and Captain America are forced to save Doctor Doom.

The companion series Peter Parker: Spider-Man was relaunched as Spectacular Spider-Man Vol. 2. Here Spider-Man battles Venom (Eddie Brock), who is revealed to be dying of cancer and only kept alive by the symbiote. An encounter with the Green Goblin leaves Peter's friend Flash Thompson comatose with severe brain damage and results in a truce that ends when Osborn resumes his murderous ways in the series The Pulse and Marvel Knights Spider-Man.

The New Avengers

Spider-Man with the New Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Ronin and the Sentry.
Spider-Man with the New Avengers: Captain America, Iron Man, Spider-Man, Luke Cage, Spider-Woman, Wolverine, Ronin and the Sentry.

After The Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 2 #58, the series returned to its original numbering at #500 (December 2003). In a final meeting with Ezekiel, who gives his life to save Peter's (Albeit saving Peter from a threat he released in the first place), Peter concludes that it doesn't matter whether his powers came from science or magic, and decides to leave the matter alone. He works as a science teacher at Midtown High School until 2004, when the character undergoes a major life change following the destruction of Peter's apartment and Aunt May's house by a deranged and super-powered former high-school classmate, Charlie Weiderman. Peter, by now a member of the Avengers, moves Aunt May, Mary Jane and himself into that superhero team's headquarters, Tony Stark's Stark Tower. Peter officially works as Stark's assistant (A story put out after a tabloid photographer saw Mary Jane leaving the building and assumed she was having an affair with Stark) while again freelancing for The Daily Bugle and continuing his work as a teacher at Midtown High School.

During the events of House of M, Peter sees his life as he has always dreamed it would be with Uncle Ben still being alive, having public approval, being married to Gwen Stacy and having a child with her. After the world is restored to normal Peter demands that Doctor Strange remove the memories of the alternate life and briefly becomes violent when Strange says that he can't -House of M #8-, to the extent that he attacks and nearly kills Quicksilver-Son of M #1-.

The Other

Spider-Man: The Other In the 12-part 2005 story "The Other", which spans the three main Spider-Man titles, Spider-Man undergoes a transformation that evolves his powers (see Spider-Man#Powers and equipment), which further connect him to the spider totem and lays the foundation for further developments. In the story, Peter is dying of an unknown disease and his powers slowly fading. He spans the Globe and space seeking a cure, but there is none, culminating in a brutal battle with Morlun. In the hospital and trying to recover from the fight, Morlun then appears and attacks Mary Jane, who is in the room with Peter. Peter uses the last of his energy to save her, and then dies. He is then put in a web cocoon over the George Washington Bridge, where his first love, Gwen Stacy died, emerging from the cocoon after having fully embraced the spider and possessing new and enhanced powers. After his return, Tony Stark makes him a new costume to incorporate these new abilities.

Civil War

Civil War

The "Iron Spider" costume from Civil War #3. Cover art by Michael Turner.
The "Iron Spider" costume from Civil War #3. Cover art by Michael Turner.
In the 2006 crossover Civil War, the Marvel heroes find themselves divided on the issue of whether to register with the U.S. government under the Superhuman Registration Act and reveal their secret identities and superhuman abilities. Tony Stark (Iron Man) drafts a conflicted Spider-Man into a task-force to compel the rebel superheroes to register. Following Stark's lead, he unmasks himself at a televised news conference at the U.S. Capitol.-Civil War #2 (June 2006)- In the aftermath, J. Jonah Jameson files a lawsuit against Parker, demanding repayment of money for "fraudulent" Spider-Man photos Parker shot for the Daily Bugle. After developing a growing unease about the Registration Act, Stark's motives, and witnessing the death of Dr. Bill Foster, the Black Goliath, Spider-Man learns that the unregistered captives are being held indefinitely in a high-tech prison built in the Negative Zone by Fantastic Four Incorporated and Stark Enterprises. These circumstances prompt Parker to escape with Aunt May and Mary Jane and join the Anti-Registration forces.
Spider-Man returns to his black costume. Art by Ron Garney.
Spider-Man returns to his black costume. Art by Ron Garney.

Following the end of the war, with Registration successfully established, Parker, May, and Mary Jane remain fugitives, and May is critically wounded by a sniper's bullet.-The Amazing Spider-Man #537- Aunt May is shot by an assassin and goes into a coma.- The Amazing Spider-Man #538 (March 2007)- A devastated Spider-Man briefly returns to his black costume and fiercely hunts whoever is responsible for the shooting. He eventually confronts the imprisoned planner, Wilson Fisk a.k.a. the Kingpin, beating him and threatening to kill anyone else who would hurt his family.

At some undetermined point within this chronology, Spider-Man gathers with other anti-registration heroes as the informal New Avengers. They discover that the ninja assassin Elektra had been replaced with a shapeshifting alien from the race known as Skrulls, and that other prominent figures may have been similarly replaced. Meantime, the Scarlet Spiders, a covert-operations team with powers and appearances similar to Spider-Man's, help Parker by casting doubt on him being the real Spider-Man by telling the public Parker was merely a member acting on his own and has been fired from the group.-The Avengers: The Initiative #7-

One More Day / Brand New Day

Spider-Man: Brand New Day Parker continues to grasp at straws to help the hospitalized Aunt May. His desperation prompts the demon Mephisto to appear to him with a bargain: Mephisto will save May's life, so long as Peter and Mary Jane agree to have their marriage and all memory of it disappear. The couple agree, though Mary Jane offers Mephisto something in a whisper. Parker awakens the following morning in May's home, with his aunt alive and well, and he attends a surprise party in honor of his best friend Harry Osborn's return from Europe, the deceased Osborn having been resurrected as a result of Mephisto's changes. Mary Jane is cold towards Parker after the relationship between them had soured and she had moved away.-The Amazing Spider-Man #545 (Jan. 2008)-

Parker returns to work at the Daily Bugle under its new publisher, Dexter Bennett, and lives at Aunt May's house while searching for an affordable apartment in Manhattan. He has not been Spider-Man for several weeks, but the financial need to get pictures of him prompts him back into action, pitting him against various new adversaries as well as some old ones in this new life.

Secret Invasion

When a Skrull ship crashes in the Savage Land, Spider-Man travels to the Savage Land (with the New Avengers) to confront the threat. When various heroes emerge from the ship (one of them being Spider-Man), a fight ensues between the escapees and the New and Mighty Avengers as both groups believe themselves to be the originals. However, their fight is interrupted by a T-Rex, who steps on the Spider-Man from the ship (whom regresses back to a Skrull) and throws Spider-Man away-Secret Invasion #1 and Secret Invasion #2-. Spider-Man is then confronted by Ka-Zar, who reveals that the Savage Land natives have been battling Skrulls (posing as humans) for some time now. After a brief confrontation with the Captain America from the ship (who is revealed to be a Skrull), Spider-Man is pricked with a poison dart that causes Skrulls to seizure and return to their natural state (as shown by its effects on the Skrull Captain America) and his lack of reaction proves him to be the original.-New Avengers #42 and New Avengers #43-.

Other versions

Alternate versions of Spider-Man

Relationships with other heroes

Although ostensibly a loner with a sense of humor that many find hard to understand or appreciate, Spider-Man has formed several diverse relationships with various other heroes in the Marvel Universe. Some of these bonds can actually be traced back to his parents, Richard and Mary Parker, who worked as agents in the C.I.A. after being recruited by Nick Fury himself, and were eventually killed by the third Red Skull after he discovered their status as double agents. During their careers, they were sometimes partnered with Logan; indeed, Logan was apparently the first person to congratulate the Parkers upon learning that Mary was pregnant. He has also partnered or been part of teams which displayed his value as a formidable teammate.

Although several heroes, such as Wolverine and the Punisher, find his sense of humor in the face of some of their usual adversaries and threats frustrating, Spider-Man has nevertheless won the respect of many due to his commitment to doing the right thing and his refusal to give up. The Black Panther even once allowed Spider-Man to eat the heart-shaped fruit of the Wakandan royal family, describing him as a warrior with the heart of a king,-Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man #2- and even Captain America has admitted to being amazed by his skills whenever the two fight side-by-side-New Avengers #3-, with Spider-Man, like other heroes, being deeply affected by Cap's death. During Dormammu's attempt to escape from the other dimension where he had been banished by channeling the energies of a group of heroes who sought to banish the invading Mindless Ones, Doctor Strange managed to avert Dormammu's release by sending Spider-Man back in time to a few moments before he escaped, the web-slinger subsequently convincing the gathered heroes to wait a few moments to give Doctor Strange time to deal with the problem; although Spider-Man had no evidence to support his story, the gathered heroes, consisting of Mister Fantastic, the Human Torch, Iron Man, Thor and Cyclops all gave him the time he asked for.-The Amazing Spider-Man #500-

His closest friends in the hero business include Daredevil and the Human Torch, although his relationship with Daredevil is more serious while his friendship with the Torch primarily consists of the two playing practical jokes on each other. Spidey also enjoys a close friendship with various small-time heroes from the New York area, including the Prowler, Black Cat (whom he dated for a time), Cloak and Dagger and Toxin. His uneasy relationship with the public has also created a certain bond between himself and the equally mistrusted X-Men, with particularly close bonds formed with members such as Iceman and Beast due to their shared sense of humor and mutual interest in science respectively. He even once went on a date with Marrow when Mary Jane was believed dead and Marrow had been brainwashed by S.H.I.E.L.D.; although nothing came of it, he subsequently freed her from S.H.I.E.L.D.'s control, and they parted on good terms.

He also has a close relationship with rest of the Fantastic Four, although their initial meeting was difficult to say the least; he fought them in an attempt to 'audition' for a role on the team, needing money to help his family, but left on bad terms after learning they didn't pay and they voiced their suspicions of him due to Jameson's articles. As time went on, however, he and the team became closer; Spider-Man even once went on a date with the Invisible Woman (Although both only went on it to annoy the Human Torch and Mister Fantastic respectively), and has a good relationship with their son Franklin Richards, due in no small part to the advice he's given Franklin regarding listening to the advice of 'Uncle Bens', as well as an occasion when he helped Sue Storm save Franklin's life. During a period when the Fantastic Four were believed dead, Spider-Man was a member of the replacement team created to 'avenge' the deaths of the Fantastic Four, consisting of himself, Wolverine, the Hulk and Ghost Rider- indeed, he served as the unofficial team leader during their mission to track the FF's supposed killers, coordinating their efforts to save a damaged aircraft and battle the Mole Man's minions-, although this team parted company when the original FF were revealed to be alive.-Fantastic Four #347-349-

Early on in his career, Spider-Man was invited to join the Avengers, but failed to complete his first assignment when he allowed the Hulk to escape after learning his story.-The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #3- Although his independent spirit came close to compromising the team's effectiveness as a unit when he fought alongside them, he eventually became a reserve member, helping them tackle such foes as the Exemplars. During his time in the New Avengers, Peter developed a mentor/student relationship with Tony Stark, who even allowed Peter to borrow his first two suits of armor on one occasion,-Marvel Knights: Spider-Man #20- and designed a new costume for him in the aftermath of his recent 'evolution'. However, this bond broke down due to their differing opinions regarding the Civil War.-Civil War #5- culminating in the two exchanging blows before Spider-Man fled. May Parker was shot by an assassin, prompting Peter to return to Tony in hopes that he would be able to help out in May's recovery as her condition turned grim. At first Tony refused Peter's request, but, later on, Tony had Jarvis (who had been in a relationship with May prior to the Civil War) donate two million dollars to the hospital that May was staying in in order to cover all of the hospital fees.

Spider-Man has also been linked to the various Spider-Women in existence, although only Mattie Franklin was directly inspired by him; Jessica Drew and Julia Carpenter acquired their powers via totally different processes, and Charlotte Witter was a villain empowered by Doctor Octopus. In a sense, however, Julia Carpenter has had a significant impact on Spider-Man in her own right; her black costume inspired the look of the symbiote that would go on to become Venom.

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